On Balance

Here is a conversation that happened between an educated, working couple. Comments invited!

Hubby: You know, there was this Delhi Prinicpal or someone who said in her speech to graduating students that they should aim for a balance in life and not just a stellar performance in their career. Both career and personal life are important. And guess what, she drew a lot of flak for saying that.

Lady: Yep, I agree that you need a balance in life. The problem happens when this idea of balance applies only to the woman in the family.

Hubby: But only a woman can give birth and breastfeed.

Lady: Yea, but if a woman is willing to take 2 years off from her career to give birth and breastfeed, will the guy then say that, I will take the next 2 years off, to look after the baby while you consolidate your career?
Hubby: Why should he? Why do you think guys get married?
Lady: To have a wife, and children
Hubby: exactly

Lady: So, then why not share responsibilities of child rearing as well. Why should lady 'balance' her life, so that hubby can pursue his dreams and ambitions relentlessly? Afterall, the child will love both mom and dad.

Hubby: Well, when a court grants a divorce the baby goes with the mom. So, social structure also favors women to look after the kids. You people have maternity leave. There is no paternity leave....

Lady: Then social structure should change. Or else, people should mutually decide not to have kids. It is not fair to dump the nurturing role to the mother and the bread winning role to the father, especially when the mother in all probability would have strived harder academically and done better than the dad, and hence deserves the bread winning role even more.

Hubby: Why do you think D* (a mutual doctor friend settled in America) wants a wife who is not a doctor?

Lady: Well, to each his own. Maybe some women enjoy the nurturing role, others don't. You cannot judge it based on gender alone. And you can't say that sacrificing one's dreams for another's dreams is achieving balance, especially if the sacrifice is a one way street.

Hubby: Guys generally want a lady who can manage the house.
Lady( by now thoroughly exasperated by hubby's MCP attitude): Yea, they want a doormat to wipe their feet on, when they come back from work.

Baby (irritated by lack of attention from both hubby and lady) : Keeee Keeeee
And that put an end to an interesting discussion.

Post dedicated to all strong women out there....Wanted to write this on Women's Day, but couldn't, as I was busy searching for the elusive 'balance' :P


gugun said…
and you know what ? Gents who search for balance are * lazy bums who are not being responsible enough. *

As she said, to each his own. If only there wasn't so much of a probability involved in finding one's "type"

Tinkerbells said…
@gugun: I agree, society forces you to don gender specific roles!
Finding one's 'type' is very difficult indeed...and to think that we get but just one chance....
Anonymous said…
I agree. Child rearing should be shared by husband and wife. I also believe that if both of their dreams and ambitions have a single focus on career, then it is better not to have children. While it may be true that men need a 'doormat':), how many women would actually cherish the role of sole bread winner?
-Meena chechi
Tinkerbells said…
@meenachechi: Yea, women may not enjoy the sole bread winner role...but we just have one life...and every one should have a go at different roles - be it home making or career...and I fully agree on kids being totally optional...which Indian society is slowly understanding and accepting...we r no longer an agrarian community where more hands meant more profits!

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